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But They Can't Beat Us: Oscar Robertson and the Crispus Attucks Tigers

ISBN13: 9781571672575
ISBN: 1571672575
Binding: Hardcover
List Price: $19.95
Publisher: Sagamore Publishing
Published Date:
Pages: 219
Average Goodreads rating: 4.08/5 (12 ratings)

The 1986 film Hoosiers, based on the true story of tiny Milan High School's 1954 state basketball championship, trafficked in familiar indiana images -- a backboard and a hoop erected on a pole between a house and a field and a solitary boy arching a basketball against a backdrop of corn, soybeans, and the monotony of the rural Midwest. But in the 1950s another Hoosiers myth was taking shape, one in which urban, poor, black kids came together at Indianapolis's Crispus Attucks High School and overcame greater obstacles and achieved even more than Milan. Led by a talented group of players that included Oscar Robertson and coached by the young and talented Ray Crowe, the Crispus Attucks Tigers won the state championship the next two years in a row, 1955 and 1956. In the first of those years it became the first all-black school to win a championship, and in the second it became the first undefeated state champion. Attucks also was the first Indianapolis team to win the state tournament, a result that brought about mixed emotions among many in the state capital. According to award-winning sports historian Randy Roberts, Attucks helped define and enshrine the Hoosiers myth by being its negation. An inspiring story that brings together joy, race, and achievement during a critical time in America, the chronicle of Crispus Attucks justifies the Indiana belief that basketball is just about the most important thing there is.